The seller in Basildon has mentioned that there could be powdery asbestos wallpaper in the house; what is asbestos and is it hazardous?
Asbestos is the name given to the group of fibrous materials that are now known to be harmful when the dust or fibrils are released into the environment.
Asbestos has been mined for hundreds of years, but it was only in the last century that it was found to be so detrimental to health, although it still took until 1999 for there to be an outright ban in the UK, as part of an EU-wide directive, even though restrictions were placed from 1985.
The most common type found in the UK is white asbestos (chrysotile), which was often used in roofs, floors, ceilings, walls and insulation, thereby appearing in all manner of construction materials. From 1986, it was only white asbestos that remained in use in the UK for construction purposes.
Often considered to be a ‘miracle’ material before its deleterious effects were understood, asbestos was chosen for its resistance to fire and electricity, its tensile strength, and its sound-proofing qualities, coupled with its relative cheapness to produce.
Commonly called asbestosis, the curly or needle-shaped fibres usually caused mesothelioma (attack on the lining of the lungs, causing cancer). However, breathing in a single fibre will not be injurious, nor will it risk death.
During a survey, your chartered surveyor will not be able to confirm the existence of asbestos, since they will not investigate further than visual inspection because of the dangers highlighted above. However, they will be experienced in looking for it and will report their suspicions in the survey, recommending that it be checked out thoroughly.
Although you are legally allowed to removed asbestos yourself, this practice is thoroughly resisted by experts because of the danger that amateur removals may incur on yourself and your neighbours. Therefore, it is recommended that you appoint an expert to confirm its presence and to safely remove it.
Why not try out Surveyor Local’s instant survey quote generator? Or call our team of advisers on 0800 038 6667 for your free surveying quote.
The home we plan to buy in Basildon is built on clay soil. Will the property survey cover this, and does the chartered surveyor give maintenance advice?
What was formerly known as the Full Structural Survey has been rebranded by the RICS and is now called the Building Survey. This product is a comprehensive inspection by a chartered surveyor, and the customer can choose this type of survey for any property that they are buying, but the RICS recommends that it is most suitable for:
- Listed buildings and some properties in conservation areas
- Properties that were built more than 50 years ago
- Properties that you want to extend, change significantly, or update in an integral way
- Buildings that have been recently subjected to such change
- Properties of an unusual construction, or built with unusual materials, irrespective of their age
The Building Survey report itself covers the following details:
- Any defects, their criticality and what they mean (structurally and financially)
- The results of the tests for the presence of radon gas
- Evidence of subsidence or heave
- Proximity of any large trees that might impact the foundations
- Evidence of the presence of any hazardous materials (such as asbestos)
- The impact of any changes to supporting walls
- Specific damage to any masonry (inside and out)
- The results of the tests carried out for damp
- Any renovations, extensions and changes without the requisite planning consents
- Specific damage to the roof and chimney stacks
- Condition of the damp-proof course (DPC) and state of the insulation
- Damage to timbers (particularly in the roof-space)
- Evidence of woodworm, dry or wet rot in timber
- Advice on drainage that hasn’t been tested
- Details of materials and construction methods used at the property
- Recommendations and advice for any further investigations that might be required, in addition recommendations for immediate remedial action
- specific matters in relation to planning and control for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor
The price of the Building Survey is dependent on the location, size and construction of the property, but the cost usually comes in between £500 and £1,300.
Ready to choose your survey? Try our online instant quote calculator by filling in a few details in the form at the top of this page.
Will there be any considerations we should look out for if purchasing a house in a Basildon conservation area, particularly in relation to house prices?
The conservation areas are generally designated as such by the local council, although the governmental public body Historic England has the power to make designations in consultation with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
According to the Historic England website (retrieved on 30 January 2019), conservation areas are typically so designated for these types of locations (not an exhaustive list):
- centres of historic villages, towns and cities
- fishing and mining villages
- 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century suburbs
- model housing estates up to the late 20th century
- country houses set in their historic parks
- historic transport links (sections of canals, railways, and airfields)
- industrial heritage sites
This means that all types of areas throughout the country could possibly be part of a conservation area, meaning that the purchase of a property within one will come with certain responsibilities and restrictions.
Historic England also review and assess the state of the conservation areas on an annual basis, creating the Heritage at Risk register, which can be viewed online to assess whether the council’s management plan is effective, and what is happening to remove the conservation area if it appears on the register. In 2018, 502 conservation areas were added to the list.
Conservation areas, by their nature of being protected from significant change and managing conformity, are an attractive location in which to buy a house, and, before buying a house, being aware of any changes that don’t have planning consent since this may require expense to reverse them. This information is highlighted in the survey and will also be directed to your legal representative for further investigation and analysis with the local council. The responsibilities incumbent upon any owner underlines the importance of appointing a focused and thorough surveyor like those we have at Surveyor Local.
This also means that houses in designated conservation areas naturally come at a premium, so potential buyers should be aware that properties will likely be more expensive than similar homes located outside the boundary of the conservation area.
Martin Nossel & Co. are based in 10-12 Southernhay, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1EL (Tel: 01268 289555) should be prepared help you with further information. Or you could try Homeward Legal or call them on 0800 038 6699.
Line up one of the best chartered surveyors available to inspect your property by calling Surveyor Local’s waiting team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667.
The vendor mentioned subsidence might be an issue on the house we want to buy in Basildon. What subsidence-related matters will the property surveyor reveal?
One of the principal defects that a chartered surveyor will look for during the inspection of a property is the dreaded subsidence, which conjures up images of sagging walls, large cracks along the property and even collapse.
Subsidence is defined as sudden or gradual shrinkage in the soil that surrounds foundations of a building, forcing a downward settling of the building as the weight becomes too much for the subsoil to support as it once did, and it usually occurs with little or no movement along the horizontal.
The opposite, but rarer, condition is known as ground heave, where the subsoil surrounding the foundations expands and, because it usually can’t move sideways, it is forced upwards. Note that the symptoms are quite similar to subsidence in terms of cracking or sticking windows and doors, but there will probably be other symptoms such as raising of patio slabs or lifting of decking.
Because of the severity of these issues, it is imperative that an expert chartered surveyor from Surveyor Local looks at the property in order to report on the condition, the diagnosis and recommendations for any immediate action to be taken to resolve the situation.
Contact a reputable local builder for repairs advice and any quotes that can be used as a bargaining tool in the purchase of the house. Call our survey advisers on 0800 038 6667 for further information and for your free quote; we’re open 7 days a week for your convenience.
What should we pay attention to when buying a building constructed in 1730 in Basildon? What consequences will the wooden structure have on regular maintenance?
There are many buyers who would really love to own an old, characterful home purely because of that character and the romanticism of its charm and appeal, particularly if it’s coupled with a great location.
With such a dream, though, comes the consideration of the construction and what it means in terms of ongoing maintenance and remedying any existing problems as part of its purchase. This is because such properties are likely to have been built employing the older construction methods and materials, and this might occasionally give buyers second thoughts as a result of the stress and worry about its upkeep.
The obvious traditional (or ‘vernacular’) techniques in the construction include cob (a mixture of clay soil, straw, and sand), wattle and daub (limestone and horse-hair), straw bales, timber beams for wall construction, thatched roofs, adobe, and hemp, all of which can be very challenging to maintain.
You should be aware that expert knowledge may also be needed before buying so that the condition of the materials and structure can be fully checked out and estimates provided for any remedial work. In addition, certain materials suitable for the work may be required to be sourced, particularly if the building is listed or is in a conservation area, which might be expensive.
Anxious to make the right decision but don’t want to fork out loads of money for the information? Call our friendly advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 today.
We're getting a semi-detached house in Basildon. Is there a flood-risk and will the home surveyor investigate possible flooding damage?
The Environment Agency has estimated that around 1 in every 6 homes around the country is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of those susceptible from surface water alone. The risk of floods needs to be taken seriously, since ingress of water to a property can threaten safety as well as causing major damage and disruption in the aftermath. It also has an impact on the property’s value and its insurability and the premiums that will be required to be paid. So, it makes sense to get your survey carried out by an experienced firm like Surveyor Local.
There are many causes of flooding, and, even if your home is not anywhere near a body of water, this is no reason for complacency. The sources of flooding include:
- surface water from prolonged and heavy downpours, exacerbated in areas where the water can’t drain away such as tarmac and paving slabs
- groundwater from heavy and prolonged rain and the water levels rise
- rivers which can’t contain higher levels of water flow
- coastal areas where high tides meet with low pressure storms
- burst water main where the run-off water enters your property
- burst water tank, radiators and other plumbing issues
Because of the increasing likelihood of flooding in the UK and the problems it causes, it becomes an essential part of looking for a new home to establish its history with flooding and the risk to the local area. There are several steps that can be taken:
- use the Environment Agency’s flood information service for the current situation
- search for your location on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning service to establish the level of risk of flooding (based on historical and geographical information)
- appoint a specialist search provider to identify the position in more detail (you can talk to your conveyancing solicitor about this option and costs)
- check with the sellers to confirm anecdotal evidence of prior flooding issues
The chartered surveyor will check the likely impact of any flooding on the property and its contents, providing recommendations to reduce or even eliminate the effects should it occur.
Looking for a thorough inspection of the property you’re planning to buy and its location? Get your instant quote by filling the form in at the top of this page; it only takes a matter of moments. When you’re ready to appoint your chartered surveyor, call Surveyor Local’s team of advisers on 0800 038 6667.
I intend to purchase a terraced house in the SS14 postcode area of Basildon for £275,500. What will a surveyor consider in the writing the HomeBuyers Report?
A qualified RICS surveyor will go to the property as well as considering the wealth of area knowledge and factors that have a bearing on the value of property. There are a huge number of issues that could affect house prices (for example, the quality of nearby schools, or whether the garden is overlooked). It can help to benchmark selling-prices recorded for similar properties in Basildon.
This means the average price of completed transactions for terraced houses in Basildon in December 2018 was £269,052, which is £6,448 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Basildon were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 12 February 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a HomeBuyer Report, which includes a Property Valuation Report (PVR) as a core component. A qualified RICS surveyor will be part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.
If you need further guidance, why not try our online home survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 0800 038 6667.